This Weekly Bulletin focuses on selected acute public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 58 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key new and ongoing events, including:
- Hepatitis E in Central African Republic
- Monkeypox in Central African Republic
- Dengue fever in Senegal
- Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Humanitarian crisis in Cameroon
For each of these events, a brief description, followed by public health measures implemented and an interpretation of the situation is provided.
A table is provided at the end of the bulletin with information on all new and ongoing public health events currently being monitored in the region, as well as events that have recently been closed.
Major issues and challenges include:
- The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has reached a critical juncture, marked by a precarious security situation, persistence of pockets of community resistance/mistrust and expanding geographical spread of the disease. During the reporting week, there was an incident involving a response team performing burial activity in Butembo. This came barely days following a widespread community strike (“ville morte”) in Beni and several towns, and an earlier armed attack in Beni. These incidents severely disrupted most outbreak control interventions. Meanwhile, EVD cases have been confirmed in new areas with worse insecurity and in close proximity to the border with Uganda. All these factors come together to elevate the risk of further propagation of the outbreak. Meanwhile, most communities support the response. The Ministry of Health, WHO and partners continue to work closely with communities and are able to provide vaccines to contacts and treatment to those who are sick.
- During the reporting week, the Ministry of Health and Population in the Central African Republic has declared two simultaneous outbreaks of hepatitis E and monkeypox in the country. These outbreaks are occurring against the backdrop of a deteriorating security situation and resulting precarious living conditions in the community. Of particular concern is the outbreak of hepatitis E, which has a higher potential to gain a foothold in such situation. The risk factors for transmission of water-borne disease are prevalent in the communities. There is a need to aggressively tackle these outbreaks at this early stage to avoid them gaining a foothold.